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Dental Crowns & Partial Crowns // for Mishawaka and South Bend

A dental crown is a "cap" placed over a tooth. When cemented into place, crowns fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.  The cap restores the tooth’s shape, size, strength and appearance, and when cemented into place, covers the visible portion of a tooth.

Doctor Coulter may recommend a dental crown in order to protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth. Other situations where a dental crown may be in order include, restoring a broken, damaged or worn tooth. Additionally, doctor may recommend a dental crown to cover or support a tooth with a large filling, or to hold a dental bridge in place. A crown may also be applicable to cover misshaped or discolored teeth, to cover a dental implant or to cover a tooth that's previously been treated with a root canal.

Types of Dental Crowns

Permanent Dental Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth and have the benefit of a more precise match to the color of the teeth beside them and a more natural tooth color. A potential negative to porcelain fused to metal dental crowns sometimes results in the metal under the crown’s porcelain cap showing through as a dark line. In addition, the porcelain portion of the dental crown can potentially chip or break off or cause an increased level of wear on the teeth opposite the dental crown.

In the case of all-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns, these deliver the best natural color match compared to any other type of dental crown, and they are an exceptionally good choice for people with metal allergies or for persons concerned about the conductive effects of metal in the human body. Further, all-ceramic crowns are an excellent choice for front teeth.

Pressed Ceramic Crowns have excellent aesthetics for front teeth, but not as strong as Zirconia Crowns. Pressed Ceramic Crowns feature a hard, inner core that replaces metal liners typically used in the all-ceramic crown-making processes. Pressed ceramic crowns are capped with porcelain, which provides the best natural color match. They are frequently used on front teeth.

All ceramic crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth and have the benefit of a more precise match to the color of the teeth beside them and a more natural tooth color. 

Partial Crowns

Dental “onlays”, or as Dr. Coulter calls them "partial crowns", restore the tooth by preserving as much of the strong/healthy enamel as possible. These are the first choice of treatment on back teeth unless a tooth is severely compromised and needs a full coverage crown.

Dental Crown Procedures

When Dr. Coulter determines your overall state of dental health, the tooth to receive the crown is carefully examined and a radio graph is taken in order to determine the best overall approach. 

A dental scanning “wand” can be used to create a 3D model of the tooth. The digital design is sent to another in-office machine that mills (carves) the shape of the crown from a block of ceramic using computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology. In some situations, after reshaping the tooth, an impression material is used to make a mold of the tooth receiving the crown, as well as impressions of the teeth opposing the tooth to make sure that the dental crown will properly fit to the bite. The impressions are then used to make the dental crown.

Once in place, dental crowns typically last between 5 and 15 years, depending on the amount of wear and tear, daily oral hygiene practices, mouth related issues such as teeth grinding or clenching, chewing of ice, crunching hard candy, biting of fingernails and generally using your teeth like a pair of pliers to open things. Partial crowns (onlays) can last over 20 years.

A restored tooth requires good oral hygiene to protect the tooth from decay or gum disease. It is also important avoid biting on hard surfaces like ice, popcorn kernels, etc., with restored and natural teeth.

A newly crowned tooth may be sensitive immediately after the procedure after the anesthesia begins to wear off. If the crowned tooth still has a nerve in it, there may be some heat and cold sensitivity following your procedure. An extra step is used to help prevent sensitivity by placing a type of sealer on the tooth prior to cementation. 

If there are any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. We look forward to visiting with you!

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